5 Shocking Facts About Aspartame

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Aspartame is a nasty chemical that’s sold as a zero-calorie healthy sweetener. But did you know that it’s technically not calorie-free? Not a lot, only about 4 calories per gram. [1] That isn’t a lot, and it’s not a big deal. But it’s one weird fact you probably didn’t know about aspartame. Let’s take a look at a few other points about aspartame that rarely get discussed.

1. Aspartame is Made from Bacteria Poop

The chemical aspartame is made from the waste product of E. coli bacteria. To be blunt, it’s made from bacteria poop. As if that’s not bad enough, the poop is then benzylated and hydrolyzed, and the result of that process is then methylated and debenzylated. [2]

Are your eyes crossed from trying to make sense of that? I thought it was bad enough to know that aspartame is really bacterial poop that’s been put through a harsh chemical process to a fare-thee-well, but then I learned something even worse. Read on.

2. The Bacteria are Genetically Modified

The patent for aspartame reveals that the E. coli bacteria are genetically manipulated[2]That’s another way of saying that aspartame is made from the poop of bacteria that are genetically modified organisms — GMOs. Of course, the manufacturer claims that there are no GMO molecules in aspartame. I’m not betting my health on that claim! Apparently, they’re saying that genetically modified bacteria produce normal poop. However, by definition, any GMO organism’s metabolism is deranged because it contains foreign DNA.

3. Aspartame Makes You Hungry

Well… maybe not so much after learning it’s made from bacteria poop. But, technically speaking, making you hungry is precisely what aspartame does. The science isn’t clear on the exact mechanism that causes this but research suggests that when you eat or drink foods that contain aspartame, you’ll have a hard time controlling your appetite. That’s a strange sort of diet food! [3]

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